A recent survey conducted by an English e-cigarette company shows smokers spend an average of five weeks a year on smoking breaks, at work.
The fact that smoking affects productivity was already known in the business world, but the amount of time wasted should really concern bosses everywhere. The study conducted by ecigarettesdirect.co.uk quizzed 500 smokers, 30% of which admitted they spend more than an hour each day smoking at work. If we do the math, that adds up to around half a day wasted every week. Just like coffee breaks, cigarette smoking has been a part of office culture for decades, but it seems many employees are taking advantage of this to slack off.
“The most prolific smokers we polled were found to waste around five hours per week on cigarette breaks, which is longer than taking every Friday afternoon off. Add that up throughout a typical employment year and this equates to five weeks or more than a full working month off, which is staggering” a spokesman from the e-cigarette company said. But the real bad news is this applies only to casual smokers. The heavy ones really smoke about 30 cigarettes a day, which translates into two and a half hours of break time. That’s 14 weeks of smoking breaks a year.
Although most employers and managers are mostly concerned about the productivity of their smoking employees, these long and frequent breaks also affect the team spirit of the work collective. Non-smokers often feel resentment towards their cigarette-smoking colleagues because they realize they are putting in more work for the same pay.
Over 91% of the people polled by ecigarettesdirect.co.uk said they would be a lot more productive at work if they were permitted to use smoking alternatives like the electronic cigarette, which hasn’t yet been banned in public places and can therefor be used in the office. Unfortunately, for some reason, many companies are reluctant to allow their employees to use e-cigs at work, for fear it might cause tension between colleagues. Hopefully this will change with time, as e-cigs become even more popular.
A similar study, conducted in 2009, in Ireland, shows smokers waste seven and a half hours smoking at work, every year.